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On Tuesday, January 26, the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will be holding a hearing on Senate Bill 210, which provides certain liability protections when there has been exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Those AKC clubs with concerns about the ability to conduct events while under a higher potential exposure to liability actions associated with COVID-19 may find this legislation of interest.

Provisions included in the bill would protect any “person” (including but not limited to individuals, associations, etc.) from civil liability for damages or injury “resulting from exposure of an individual to coronavirus.”

Given the definition of “person” as used in the bill, one could infer that the liability protection includes premises owned or managed by a person, and activities managed, organized, or sponsored by a person.  However, it is not clearly mentioned in the bill.

The exemption would not apply to gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, when there is clear and convincing evidence.

What You Can Do:

Email or call the bill’s sponsor, Senator Chis West.   Thank him for introducing this important bill.  Consider asking that he add an amendment to make it clear that the liability protection includes premises owned or managed by a person, and activities managed, organized, or sponsored by a person.

Contact the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and ask them to support Senate Bill 210.  Let them know about Maryland dog shows and events that you participate in.  If you are writing on behalf of your club, tell them about your show (including how long it has been held, number of exhibitors, etc.) and your desire to hold shows safely in Maryland.

Committee Contact Information:

Senator William Smith, Chair                  will.smith@senate.state.md.us

Senator Ronald Young                           ronald.young@senate.state.md.us

Senator Charles Sydnor                         charles.sydnor@senate.state.md.us

Senator Robert Cassilly                          bob.cassilly@senate.state.md.us

Senator Chris West                                chris.west@senate.state.md.us

Senator Justin Ready                             justin.ready@senate.state.md.us

Senator Susan Lee                                 susan.lee@senate.state.md.us

Senator Jeff  Waldstreicher                    jeff.waldstreicher@senate.state.md.us

Senator Michael Hough                          michael.hough@senate.state.md.us

Senator Jill Carter                                  jill.carter@senate.state.md.us

Senator Shelly Hettleman                     shelly.hettleman@senate.state.md.us

AKC Government Relations continues to track bills across the country relating to the issue of COVID-19 liability.  For the latest information on this topic, visit the COVID-19 Liability key issues page in the AKC Legislative Action Center.

To view AKC legislative information and updates relating to COVID-19 and how they are impacting dogs, events, and businesses, visit www.akcgr.org/covid19.

For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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